Research Discussion Paper – RDP 2015-13 Seasonal Adjustment of Chinese Economic Statistics Abstract

China's growing importance in the global economy and significance as a source of demand for commodities produced by many countries, including Australia, has focused increasing attention on high-frequency Chinese macroeconomic data. Yet the signal from these data is often distorted by traditional holidays whose timing varies from year to year on the Gregorian calendar. This paper shows that seasonal adjustment procedures (such as the US Census Bureau's X-12-ARIMA and the Bank of Spain's SEATS) can assist in the timely interpretation of a range of commonly used Chinese macroeconomic indicators, including industrial production, trade, credit and inflation. In addition, it suggests a strategy to optimise the selection of moving holiday corrections that account for Chinese New Year, the Dragon Boat festival and the Mid-Autumn festival, prior to seasonal adjustment. It is argued that seasonal adjustment performed with this approach is preferable to simpler techniques.

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